Lecture Outline PSY2130
1. Critical Evaluation of Operant Conditioning Models & Methods
Emotional Reactions, Attitudes Preferences
Explanation of Action Tendencies
Are Conditioning Models Helpful in Understanding Personality?
1. Emotional Reactions, Attitudes Preferences the best treatment for anxiety disorders are
treatments that work directly with the stimulus response. Condition models are good at
explaining emotional reactions
2. Emergence and Dissolution of Action Tendencies condition models are also good at
explaining the emergence of action tendencies.
Personality and Psycho Therapy – Dollard and Miller
They try to take all of the important concepts of Freudian psychology and reduce them to
When you try to reduce anxiety/repression, you found that repression is a learn
inhabitation of anxiety provoking experiences.
Methodolatry (R. May)
It been argued that the principles for conditioning model account for you important things
Showing emotion reaction and attitudes preferences
It’s the best the model to explain something complicated as the anxiety systems and it can
have a history in a pairing of a stimuli in the environment
Other scholars became disenchanted with other learning approaches because they were
Problems with Conditioning models
People not just baby learn a lot from watching each other observation learning
People make decision on whether or not they should emit a response, they have to think
about what would happen if we emit the response or not.
Humans give meaning to there experience and strict conditioning models do not express
They are good at explaining something but not all dimensions of personality
Second Generation of Learning Models
Main people: Bandura, Mischel, Kelly and Rotter
o They did not abandon conditioning principles but made them more human and
focus on the learning process.
o They were willing to examine mental process.
o They were struck by the importance of social surrounding
o They made the conditioning model more amenable to the study of humans
They asked what variable mattered the most in human learning
o They realized that most reinforcement in human experience, it has little to do with
physiological change they called this social reinforcement 2. Social Learning Theory: A. Bandura
Assumption and important theoretical departure
Revision of “reinforcement” concept
3. Self Reinforcement
Imitation and self reward
4. Social reinforcement Second generation learning theorist came to believe that most
reinforcement in the human experience has little to do with physiological needs. Approval,
expectance, praise, attention (your existence needs to be acknowledged) are important to us. The
need to emerge our identity with another human being.
Data from Hall, Lund and Jackson had graduate students go into a grade three
classroom and the teacher identify to the two graduate student the problem students and
these two strangers are told just to wander through the classroom and whenever one of
these problem student engaged is good behaviour the graduate student went up to that
students and gave them a pat on the back and said “good boy/girl”. The desirable
behaviour increased but when the praising stop the desirable behaviour decreased
Theoretical implications theorist got rid of the notion of drives, social learning theorist
found little need to talk about drives because social reinforces don’t act via
physiologically. The person doesn’t need to be in physiological deprivation. The
introduction of self-reinforcement
o Social learning theory had little need for drives because social reinforcers do not
act via physiological need state
o The concept of self-reinforcement emerged. Two meaning it can have for
example I will study for 6 hours and then reward myself with ice cream after
studying and it concerns the idea that you can react to your own actions with
approval or disapproval in the same way of others. Both of these personality types
can be problematic. No reinforcer has to be present in the environment
o Children learn the same way they do from a adult peeling a potato.
5. Vicarious Emotional arousal vicarious learning: experiencing something through someone
else. Vicarious emotional arousal is another word for empathy. This does not constitute for
learning but it gives an opportunity for learning. If emotional can be experience indirectly,
empathy can create the possibility for classing conditioning